Traditional Authority (T/A) Makanjira of Salima has blamed overfishing on corruption by some traditional leaders in the lakeshore district which he said contributes to the depletion of fish.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency, the chief claimed some traditional leaders fail to enforce their own by-laws to protect fish by encouraging fishers to use recommended fishing gears.
“What is clear is that most chiefs do not to act on their by-laws because most of them fail to resist corruption temptations from fishers along the lakeshore area because the offers are appetising,” he said.
The chief has since appealed to fellow traditional leaders along the lakeshore to enforce by-laws that forbid fishers from using nets with small holes.
He further suggested that chiefs should work closely with Beach Village Committees (BVC) for proper enforcement of the by-laws.
“I also appeal to the department of fisheries to train chiefs to understand the importance of protecting fish to their livelihoods,” he said.
Chipoka Fisheries technical assistant Lustico Chikaiko admitted his area experiences challenges that have contributed to low fish yields.
“BVCs lack the drive from their traditional leaders to enforce by-laws.
“However, we continue to engage them. We hope things will improve with the coming of Ripple Africa projects,” he said.
The fishing season opened in April this year and the breeding season is expected to start November 1 2019. This is a crucial period that allows fish to multiply and fishers are not allowed to catch fish during this time.